Govt open to proposals on Wismar-Mackenzie Bridge – Edghill

…work continuing apace on Linden-Mabura Road

Even as work continues on the Linden-to-Lethem Road, the Government remains open on discussing proposals from companies to build the new Wismar-to-Mackenzie Bridge, which is also planned.
A few months ago, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill had indicated that Government is open to proposals for the Mackenzie-to-Wismar Bridge. The bridge the Government intends to build is a four-lane one that is able to facilitate the increased volume of traffic through Region 10.

The current Wismar/Mackenzie Bridge

“We’re going to build a bridge – four lanes, about 600 metres long – across the Demerara River in the Region 10 area linking Wismar with Linden. This bridge has not yet been awarded; we are open for proposals and discussions if you’d like to finance and build. And possibility exists yes,” Edghill said.
In an interview with this publication, Minister Edghill confirmed that Government is still open to proposals for the Wismar/Mackenzie Bridge. In fact, he noted that discussions are ongoing with some such companies.
A bridge that can accommodate the increase in traffic is particularly necessary as the Government is building the Linden-to-Mabura Road. In a social media post on Wednesday, Minister Edghill informed that work is on schedule with the road.
“The Ministry assures the public that work is continuing apace on the project, and what is currently happening is sealant being placed on the surface to allow for curing of the subbase. The Ministry of Public Works understands the importance and value of this project, and so is ensuring it is completed according to international standards,” Edghill said in his post.
The current Wismar Bridge has only one vehicle lane and is over 50 years old. Back in 2020, Italian engineering company Politecnica had unveiled designs for a new bridge. The company had been contracted by the then Ministry of Public Infrastructure to do a feasibility study for the bridge.
Speaking during the presentation, Politecnica Environmental Management Specialist Marciano Glasgow had emphasised that even as the company had proceeded with the designs, an environmental and social impact assessment is being conducted.
In his presentation, team leader Francisco Reina had said the new bridge is proposed to be situated upstream of the Demerara River and south of the existing bridge. It was noted during the presentation that the existing bridge would remain in place, with the suggestion for it to be utilised for pedestrians and non-vehicular traffic.
While a decision wasn’t made at the time, July 2020, Reina had said the company had designed a two-road approach: one for the eastern river bank and the other for the western. On both sides, the designs cater for new roundabouts which would connect the existing road networks. The bridge would also cater for two-lane traffic and pedestrian walkways.
According to the design, the bridge, road approaches and roundabouts would be equipped with street lights, underpass/culvert to maintain the continuity of existing roads, road safety barriers and sidewalks, and provision would be made for access to the Linden Hospital Complex at Mackenzie.
Meanwhile, the Linden-to-Mabura Road, which is the first link in the highway between Linden and Lethem, is anticipated to provide major support to ease of travel, trade, and general connectivity between Guyana and Brazil, and open up vast opportunities by linking Guyana’s hinterland communities to Georgetown.
This project would be the largest project ever funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and is one of the most historic projects undertaken in Guyana. The road works include upgrading the existing roadway to an asphaltic concrete surface with two lanes spanning 7.2 metres for 122 kilometres, with the inclusion of five drainage structures.
Construtora Queiroz Galvao SA, the company doing the project, is a large Brazilian contractor established in 1966. The company specializes in construction of refineries , roads, bridges, commercial offices, residential buildings, highways, and sewage systems worldwide.